eonardo di ser Piero da Vinci ( pronunciation (help·info)) (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519) was an Italian polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance man, a man whose unquenchable curiosity was equaled only by his powersof invention. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and "his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote". Marco Rosci points out, however, that whilethere is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time.
Born the illegitimate son of a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, at Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio. Much ofhis earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice and spent his last years in France, at the home awarded him by Francis I.
Leonardo was and is renowned primarily as a painter. Two of his works, the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, are the most famous, most reproduced and most parodied portrait and religious paintings ofall time, respectively, their fame approached only by Michelangelo's Creation of Adam. Leonardo's drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on everything from the euro to text books to t-shirts. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings survive, the small number due to his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and hischronic procrastination.[nb 2] Nevertheless, these few works, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting, compose a contribution to later generations of artists only rivalled by that of his contemporary, Michelangelo.
Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised a helicopter, a tank, concentratedsolar power, a calculator, the double hull and outlined a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible during his lifetime,[nb 3] but some of his smaller inventions, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded.[nb 4] As a scientist, he greatlyadvanced the state of knowledge in the fields of anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics.
Contents[hide] * 1 Life * 1.1 Childhood, 1452–1466 * 1.2 Verrocchio's workshop, 1466–1476 * 1.3 Professional life, 1476–1513 * 1.4 Old age, 1513-1519 * 2 Relationships and influences * 2.1 Florence — Leonardo's artistic and social background * 2.2 Personallife * 2.3 Assistants and pupils * 3 Painting * 3.1 Early works * 3.2 Paintings of the 1480s * 3.3 Paintings of the 1490s * 3.4 Paintings of the 1500s * 3.5 Drawings * 4 Leonardo as observer, scientist and inventor * 4.1 Journals * 4.2 Scientific studies * 4.3 Anatomy * 4.4 Engineering and inventions * 5 Leonardo the legend * 6 See also* 6.1 About Leonardo * 6.2 Related subjects * 7 Footnotes * 8 References * 9 Bibliography * 10 External links |
See also: Leonardo da Vinci's personal life
Leonardo's childhood home in Anchiano.
Leonardo's earliest known drawing, the Arno Valley, (1473) - Uffizi
Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452, "at the third hour of the night"[nb 5] in...
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